Colors. 1988. dir. Dennis Hopper
“There's two bulls standing on top of a mountain. The younger one says to the older one: ‘Hey pop, let's say we run down there and fuck one of them cows’. The older one says: ‘No son. Lets walk down and fuck 'em all.’” – Bob Hodges to Danny McGavin
That is the moral of Colors… that is, if you are a cop. Robert Duvall plays the compassionate veteran Hodges, while the hotshot rookie McGavin is played by Sean “Cicone” Penn. Both officers are assigned to the LAPD program CRASH: Community Resistance Against Street Hoodlums. Their main job is not necessarily to serve and to protect; their main job is to hunt down gang members and suppress their rival violence.
Some may view Hodges as a crooked officer, as he often lets people go in exchange for favors later down the line. He has no problem bending the law, because doing so helps him sleep at night. McGavin, on the other hand, strictly follows the law. He is obsessed with taking down criminals, as it is a productive outlet for his sadistic streak. Hodges knows the streets however and teaches McGavin how the hoods run. Another metaphor for his approach is letting little lone fish swim away, so that they can lead him to the large schools (I like Pisces better than Taurus, that’s why I use my metaphor, not his). However, is this always right? Wouldn’t this lead to more trouble down the road?
At first, it looked like this film would be a Training Day precursor, but it’s actually quite different. It is a great crime/buddy-cop drama focusing on the two main rival gangs of Los Angeles: the Bloods and the Crips. So if you’re a member of either gang, please, watch this film. Also, if you’re a fan of Ice-T, watch this film because he provides the excellent theme song (which wasn’t even on any of his LPs). Overall, this is my feel-good film for Spring Break, but you don’t have to take my word for it (cue Reading Rainbow music).